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April in GlenwoodApril E. ClarkGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Anyone who went to high school knows about the drama.The vicious rumors. The hurt feelings. The raging hormones.I went to a fairly small high school 700-plus kids. I mostly remember having a lot of crushes on boys, doing a bunch of stuff I wasn’t supposed to, and hoping this group of upperclassmen mean girls who bullied me and my friends wouldn’t fight us.To them, we were the Be-Bops. And their favorite terror tactic was to follow closely behind us in the halls, giving us nasty looks and saying really mean stuff about our hair.Hey, it was the ’80s in Indiana. Hair meant everything.The bullying got so bad, we finally went to the principal’s office. Not something a lowly freshman wants to do when seniors are involved. After several months, the bullying eventually subsided. We found out later the only reason they didn’t like us was because some senior dude took a liking to my best friend Kim.

Her downfall? She was short and cute and blonde.Maybe they really don’t have more fun.I also vividly recall the rumors in my small-town high school. Some of them are too explicit to recount, even in this column. One involved a hot dog and a dare. I also remember especially juicy gossip about some senior named George who slept with a female teacher. I was never sure if that one was true.Or if she ever wore a bra, for that matter.But with all these female teachers in the hot seat for sleeping with students lately, I wouldn’t doubt if it happened.The sex, not the bra.I’m not sure what attracts 20- or 30-something female teachers to high school boys. But it must be strong enough to throw careers and reputations away for quickie make-out sessions in mall parking lots.

Maybe it’s the showering of undivided attention the boys pay them. Could be the effect of all that sex on TV and video games these days. Or maybe they just can’t resist a good love note.All I know is that somehow, someway, during the disturbing attraction phase, the teachers forget they’re role models. And that the boys are supposed to be their students, not love interests. Oh yeah, and that their lovers are underage, too.Which reminds me of another story making headlines, dateline my hometown of New Palestine. In this town, gossip grows faster than the corn in July.But this story apparently has some truth to it.The gymnastics coach is under investigation and has been suspended for allegedly serving alcohol to minors. Nine student athletes have been suspended for violating the Athletic Code of Conduct. All this because the 30-year-old coach allegedly had a drinking party with her gymnasts after a meet.Fast times at New Palestine High.What I can’t figure out is why the coach thought this would be a good idea in the first place. Unlike a gin and tonic, teenagers and alcohol don’t mix. First, because it’s illegal. Second, because high school girls handle their alcohol about as well as kitties react to catnip. There can be a lot of walking around in circles, urinating haphazardly and crying in a high-pitched manner.



Not necessarily in that order, either.Plus, there’s no way a bunch of high school girls can do something as bad as get wasted with their gymnastics coach and not tell anyone about it. Just like if a 16-year-old boy hooks up with the teacher he’s been hot for since the first day of his sophomore year.Just like the old Van Halen song …Somebody’s always going to find out stories as scandalous as those. Teachers and coaches should know more than anyone that few secrets remain in the halls of a high school.Especially mine.April E. Clark’s high school tennis coach would have never hosted a drinking party with her team. Or slept with an underage male student. April can be reached at aclark@postindependent.com or 945-8515, ext. 16601.


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